College students were separated into 2 groups (high and low) on the basis of 3 measures: subjective familiarity ratings of words, self-reported language experiences, and a test of vocabulary knowledge. Three experiments were conducted to determine if the groups also differed in visual word naming, lexical decision, and semantic categorization. High Ss were consistently faster than low Ss in naming visually presented words. They were also faster and more accurate in making difficult lexical decisions and in rejecting homophone foils in semantic categorization. Taken together, the results demonstrate that Ss who differ in lexical familiarity also differ in processing efficiency. The relationship between processing efficiency and working memory accounts of individual differences in language processing is also discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental Neuroscience